carlos

Juan-Carlos Formell @ Zinc Bar | NYC

Grammy-nominated Cuban guitarist/composer/vocalist Juan-Carlos Formell re-ignites the connections between Cuban music and jazz with his explosive new project "Johnny's Dream Club". Named for a legendary Havana jazz cabaret, "Johnny's Dream Club" represents a place outside time - the vortex between New Orleans and Havana, where the parallel lines of Cuban music and American jazz converge. It's a new dimension of latin jazz --intense, lyrical, dangerously dream-like. Formell and his all-star quartet map this territory in a delirious sequence of juxtapositions: "Ciudad" ("City"), evoking the nightmare of an urban apocalypse, flows into a  jazz ballad about an elusive love ("Siempre que te vas"); songs about being lost at sea ("Las islas son malvadas", "Cuando hable de la noche") and the bloody history of the Caribbean ("Yanbando") are set against haunting, mystical love songs ("Sotavento", "Fuego de Amor") inspired by Havana's "Feeling" movement.

A precursor to - and influence upon - bossa nova, Feeling emerged from the Bohemian enclaves of Centro Habana in the late 1940s. Feeling's free-style guitar, with progressive harmonies, diminished chords and bittersweet texts of disillusioned love reflected the sophisticated after-hours atmosphere of Havana's bohemian AfroCuban musicians: composer/guitarists Jose Antonio Mendez and Cesar Portillo de la Luz; singers Elena Burke and Omara Portuondo; pianists Bebo Valdes and Peruchin.

Feeling was also the starting point of Juan-Carlos Formell's biography. Born in Havana in 1964, a fourth generation Cuban musician, he learned the technique of the Feeling guitar from the creators of the genre: Mendez, Froilan, Guyun.  He began composing in his teens, and studied bass with Andres Escalona, the first bassist of the Havana Symphony Orchestra. After completing his studies Juan-Carlos became the bassist for the jazz pianist Emiliano Salvador.

As a classically trained bassist, virtuoso guitarist, and composer gifted with a groundbreaking and powerful writing style, Juan-Carlos had all the elements to become a voice of his generation - but instead, was prevented from performing or recording his own work by Cuba's government-controlled music industry because his music didn't fit into any official category. In 1993, after touring Mexico as a replacement for bassist Cachaito Lopez, Juan-Carlos fled to the United State to realize his mission of creating a new wave of Cuban music. He settled in New York City and soon started his own band. His years of struggle were vindicated when he was signed to a major record label in 1999 and his debut album, "Songs from a Little Blue House" was nominated for a Grammy. Part prophet, part poet, in exile Juan-Carlos has forged a post-modern identity for AfroCuban music that has been hailed as "musical magic realism". His five albums constitute an epic poem of Antillean mytho-history, with songs ranging from a paen to the flora and fauna of his native country, a personal invocation to an AfroCuban deity, an ode to a sacred river or a hymn to the "divine light" that brings us to a union with our higher selves. Juan-Carlos describes his new project as "a reflection of our culture today -- in the post-modern landscape, we are all refugees from the broken city, haunted, adrift at sea, in danger of losing our true reference points and losing our way forever. I keep returning to New Orleans for inspiration because I believe that there, at the crossroads of the Caribbean, it's possible to create music that embraces the past while gazing at the future -- a new music without genres and categories."

--

Juan-Carlos Formell @ Zinc Bar | NYC  -- November 10th, 2010

ZINC BAR 82 West 3rd St (btw Sullivan & Thompson)
sets: 9:30 PM, 11:30 PM & 1:00 AM

Frank Sinatra/Antonio Carlos Jobim reissue coming on Concord

In 1967, Frank Sinatra teamed up with Brazilian singer, pianist, guitarist, composer and songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim to record an album that married the Chairman’s signature vocals with rhythms from the master of bossa nova. The resulting album, Francis Albert Sinatra/Antonio Carlos Jobim, reached #19, remaining on Billboard’s rock-dominated album chart for 28 weeks.

Forty-four years later, on May 4, 2010, Concord Music Group, on license from Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE), will release a deluxe reissue of the Sinatra/Jobim classic including all ten songs from the original album plus seven songs from a subsequent collaboration between the two, and three songs from that session that were not released until decades later, when they were included in a box set. Sinatra/Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings features digital remastering and expanded liner notes by Stan Cornyn, longtime head of creative services at Warner/Reprise and author of the book about the Warner Music Group, Exploding.

Sinatra and Jobim gathered at Hollywood’s Western Recorders for three nights, January 30 through February 1, 1967. Jobim brought the beat in the form of bossa nova percussionists and arrangers. Sinatra supplied the producer (Sonny Burke), the string arranger/conductor (Claus Ogerman) and the rest of the orchestra. The resulting session produced ten songs including the classic “The Girl From Impanema” plus “Dindi,” “How Insensitive [Insensatez],” “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” and six others. (After bidding até a vista to Jobim, Sinatra, on the high of making one of his finest albums ever, stayed at the studio to record a duet with daughter Nancy that would reach #1 on the charts, “Something Stupid.”)

Two years later, Sinatra and Jobim returned to Western Recorders to record ten more bossa novas for a shorter-titled follow-up: Sinatra-Jobim. Replacing Ogerman was a 26-year-old long-haired arranger named Eumir Deodato (later to be known for his 1973 jazz version of Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra [2001]”). The songs were all written or co-written by Jobim, many with unusual melodic twists.  Producer Burke enlisted conductor Morris Stoloff to ensure a pop feel to the session.

After three nights, the album was wrapped, and was readied for release in the fall of 1969. The eight-track version of the album had shipped when the call was placed to Warner/Reprise’s Burbank, Calif. offices. It was Sinatra, demanding that the label “kill the album,” so Warner recalled most of the recordings. A 2005 Goldmine story reported that the rare eight-track would command $5000.

Sinatra later agreed to permit Reprise to release seven of the Sinatra-Jobim vocal tracks on the album Sinatra & Company. It reached #73 and remained on the album chart for 15 weeks in 1971.

More than 40 years later, the airport in Rio has been named Antonio Carlos Jobim International. And an American postage stamp honored Frank Sinatra. And the Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim and Sinatra-Jobim albums have been combined to form Concord’s Sinatra/Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings set.

João Carlos Martins & Bachiana Filarmônica with Dave Brubeck

This October get ready for some fun, as conductor João Carlos Martins brings the Bachiana Filarmônica from Brazil to Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.   Joining Mr. Martins and his orchestra are jazz legend Dave Brubeck and his son, trombonist Chris Brubeck.

The “meeting” will be October 2nd, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.   It includes a program of Brazilian works along with Dave Brubeck's own compositions.   The night begins with “Ouverture Opera Amazônia” by Mateus Araujo, followed by Villa-Lobos' “Bachiana Brasileira No. 7.”   Dave will be solo pianist in Howard Brubeck's “Theme for June,” and his son Chris plays solo trombone of his own composition, “Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra.”   Mr. Brubeck's “Brandenburg Gate Revisited,” is also on the program, and a collaborative effort with João Carlos Martins with Mr. Brubeck's piece, “Thank You,” will finish the program.

Mr. Brubeck and Mr. Martins met several times throughout their lives, each time having musical experiences, which Mr. Martins explains as, “so strong, we cannot forget them.” The first time Mr. Brubeck and Mr. Martins saw each other perform was in a recital in Alaska, and they came to an understanding of how Bach and jazz have many things in common.   Later, in 1979, Mr. Martins mentioned on NBC News that he would like to play the Bach Double Piano Concerto with Dave.   Due to unfortunate events leading to the damage of both of his hands, Mr. Martins lost the ability to play the piano, and was never able to live up to his dream.

"The rapport between João Carlos and me was instant. And ever since that time we shared many a musical thought which is what the October 2nd concert is all about." - Dave Brubeck

Although the Bach Concerto is not on the program at Avery Fisher Hall, Dave Brubeck and João Carlos will perform together when Mr. Brubeck plays Brandenburg Gate with Mr. Martins' orchestra.   Even with Mr. Martins' limitations, he will join Mr. Brubeck at the piano for the last piece of the program - a dream come true.